Comics Storm: X-Men, Vol. 4, #1-3

A few months ago, Marvel launched a new X-Men title, simply called X-Men, featuring an all-female team, consisting of Jubilee, Rogue, Psylocke, Storm, Kitty Pryde, and Rachel Grey. While I don’t understand why they didn’t call it something like X-Women, or something similar, I’ve decided that today, I’m going to take a look at this new series’ first story arc, where Jubilee brings an orphaned infant to the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning, and the bacterial villain, Sublime, turns to the X-Men for help to stop his vengeful sister, Arkea, who has taken over the body of the Omega Sentinel, Karima Shapandar. This book is just awesome. The story and characterization are wonderful and the art by Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, and Scott Hanna is truly cutting-edge. The opening arc is also filled with epic action. Another thing that will be really interesting about the series is Jubilee’s maternal role in regards to her adopted son, Shogo. If you only read one X-Men comic, you should make it this one.

Score: 13 out of 15 (Excellent)

The Magical Girl Corner: Pretty Cure

Name of Series: Pretty Cure

Original run: February 1, 2004-January 30, 2005

As of late, I have been really into Toei’s ongoing magical girl anime franchise, Pretty Cure, or PreCure for short. It’s my second favorite anime series ever. Today, I have decided to introduce one of the definitive installments of the series, the original Pretty Cure from 2004. The story focuses on Nagisa Misumi, a sporty, tomboyish girl, and Honoka Yukishiro, a more studious, girly-girl, as they find themselves becoming the defenders of Earth from the forces of the Dark Zone and subsequently become close friends. The first half focuses on Nagisa and Honoka trying to adapt to battling evil while maintaining their school lives. In battle they transform into the legendary warriors known as the Pretty Cure with the help of two fairies from the mystical Field of Light named Mepple and Mipple.

From left to right: Nagisa Misumi/Cure Black, Honoka Yukishiro/Cure White

During the first half of the series, Nagisa and Honoka battle monster-of-the-week enemies called Zakenna, as well as five generals leading the Dark Zone’s forces. The generals, in order, are Pisard, Gekidrago, Poisonny, Kiriya, and Ilkubo.

*Warning! The next paragraph contains major spoilers!*

While many of these serve the Jyaku-King, the Dark Zone’s ruler, up to the end, Kiriya eventually becomes more sympathetic as he learns more about humans while posing as a student, and after a fight against the Pretty Cures, sacrifices himself to further their goals of saving both Earth and the Field of Light. After all five generals are defeated, Nagisa and Honoka battle and defeat the Jyaku-King, but three new generals, Belzay, Regine, and Juna, appear and pose a greater challenge. These new villains also have two butler zakenna who serve as comic relief.

*end of spoilers*

As far as writing goes, Pretty Cure is definitely very entertaining. The two protagonists, Nagisa and Honoka, are very likeable, and the dynamic of the two being complete opposites works wonders for character interaction. The series also has a wonderful sense of humor. The villains are generally the kind of all-around devious masterminds you’d expect in a show like this, but are well-characterized. However, I have mixed feelings about the supporting cast. The human characters definitely succeed in breathing life into the setting, and Mipple isn’t that bad a character, Mepple, and later, Pollun, can prove to be kind of annoying. One notable aspect of the show is the fight scenes. Instead of solely relying on magical powers, the Pretty Cures make use of hand-to-hand combat techniques for the early parts of a battle, with magical attacks being used only as finishing moves. It’s an interesting way to do the fights for a magical girl anime, and worth making note of. The visuals are also something that can easily be appreciated. The animation is excellent, and the character designs are just wonderful. The protagonists look awesome both in their civilian and heroic identities, the cute mascots are designed well-enough for the part, and the villains look as menacing as they need to be. The voice acting is okay in most spots, although it’s not perfect. Yukana’s performance as Honoka is hardly five-star material, and just comes off as bland in my mind. Other than this, though, the voice cast is great.

The Verdict

Pretty Cure is a truly wonderful anime for anyone who just wants to enjoy themselves watching a show with plenty of action and humor. While it’s not perfect, it’s entertaining, and that’s all that matters in the end. While I haven’t yet finished it yet, I’m getting pretty darn close, (I’ve watched 40 out of 49 episodes) so I think I can give a final verdict that it’s worth checking out.

Final Score: 13 out of 15 (Excellent)

Comics Storm: Intro

One thing I probably should’ve mentioned is that I’m into comic books, whether it’s manga or western comics. I don’t play favorites between DC and Marvel, so I’ll probably be talking a lot about both Batman and X-Men, or Green Lantern and Guardians of the Galaxy, or Justice League and Avengers. I’m also into stuff from Image, including Invincible, Epic Kill, and anything from Top Cow. I also like the IDW comics. In the future, I’ll probably be talking about various comic series.

First Blog

Hello, everyone. My user name is the Electric Patriot, but since such a name would sound ridiculous in idle conversation, just call me by my actual first name, Dan. That’s all I will say about my real-life identity. I am an anime fan, and love moe and magical girls. My absolute favorite anime in the whole flippin’ world are K-On! and PreCure. (Especially Smile. <3) My favorite characters are Mio from K-On!, and Yayoi from Smile PreCure. A lot of people like to say that the kind of stuff I enjoy is destroying anime, but I don’t care about that because I’m just watching these shows for the fun of it. Even though I don’t watch a lot of films(even anime ones), I still think of the K-On! movie as one of the greatest experiences of my life. I live in Bay City, which is a small town in the Matagorda County in Texas.